Neighbors led Gresham police to abuse suspect

Neighbors led Gresham police to abuse suspect

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 21 at 5:31 AM

GRESHAM -- A Gresham man was arrested this week after neighbors reported two young children being sexually abused at Rockwood Central Park.

Gresham police fear there may be more victims, said Lt. Claudio Grandjean. Richard J. Ascoli, 20, was arrested in connection with multiple attacks on a 6-year-old boy and an 8-year-old boy.

Two men said they saw Ascoli on different occasions talking with children, and even caught him in the act.

Neighbor Gregg Joki said he found Ascoli with a boy behind his house.

”I said, 'What’s going on here?'" Joki said. "It looks like you’re trying to molest this young boy.”

Joki said he was so upset by what he saw that he grabbed the suspect by the ears and yelled at him before the 20-year-old took off.

Cody Smith said he saw Ascoli take a young boy to his house, so he followed. The boy left before going into the house. But Smith told his uncle about it and his uncle called police.

Neither victim is related to Ascoli, Lt. Grandjean said. Ascoli reportedly would befriend the children before abusing them.

He was being held in the Multnomah County jail on $1 million bail for four counts of first-degree sex abuse.

Anyone with information was asked to contact Detective Mike Malanaphy at (503) 823-0278.


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